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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Horror Movies and the Cross - Censored Cemetery Crucifix Scene from "Bride of Frankenstein"

Screen shot of the censored scene.

Bride of Frankenstein is the 1935 sequel to Universal Pictures' 1931 film Frankenstein, both directed by James Whale and star Boris Karloff as the Monster.

Whereas little was censored in the first Frankenstein, by the mid-1930s the rules about violence and other potentially offensive content in public entertainment were strict.

Joseph Breen, director of the Production Code Administration, and an Irish Catholic, made many recommendations regarding what was appropriate and what wasn’t for Bride. At this time, if a script didn’t receive the PCA’s seal of approval, it simply wasn’t getting produced.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Horror Movies and the Cross - Five Favorite Scenes Displaying the Power of the Cross


Many horror movies especially of recent times downplay the power of the Cross to give more of a sense of the unstoppable power of a particular evil entity, but there are still many horror films that offer displays of its power in the face of an encounter with evil. Usually these scenes are dealing with vampires and demons. Below are five of my favorite scenes among many that I was able to locate online (*be warned that some of these scenes may be viewed as scary by certain viewers*):
 
1. Dracula (1931)
 
 
 
2. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) 
 
 
 
3. The Devil Rides Out (1967) 
 
 
 
4. Fright Night (1985) 
 
 
 
5. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) 
 
 
 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Horror Movies and the Cross - The Cross in the Very First Horror Movie from 1896

 
Horror movies go back to the very origins of film, specifically to 1896, when French special-effects genius Georges Méliès made the three plus minute short, Le Manoir du Diable (The Manor of the Devil, otherwise known in English as The Haunted Castle).

Méliès, known for his silent sci-fi fantasy A Trip to the Moon — and for the tribute paid to him in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo — used his innovative methods to tell a story of “a large bat that flies into a room and transforms into Mephistopheles. He then stands over a cauldron and conjures up a girl along with some phantoms and skeletons and witches. Two men then enter the room to examine the matter, and are soon frightened and tempted by the conjurings of Mephistopheles, until finally one of them grabs a large crucifix from the wall and the devil disappears.” Though a quick and concise story, and as scary as a walk through a very short haunted house with a bunch of frights flying at you from all directions, still it is an excellent example of a technique Méliès supposedly discovered that very year. According to Earlycinema.com,
 

Friday, April 2, 2021

Elder Ephraim of Arizona and the Demon Possessed Canadian Woman

 

Elder Ephraim of Arizon gave the following testimony of an exorcism he performed for a Canadian woman:

"I had gone to Canada and there I spoke to the Greek community about the devil, about how he deceives us and leads us to sin. When I finished the speech and the people left, there was a big uproar. Some ladies then came and informed me that some old lady had been demonized. The demon-possessed woman was shouting and screaming, saying words about me:

'This man has revealed me, he brought me out! What are you looking for here in Canada? He came to take what was mine, which I had bound tightly. I will hurt him and take revenge on him!'

Monday, March 29, 2021

The Demonology of Saint Diadochos of Photike

 
Saint Diadochos distinguishes evil spirits into two categories: into the most subtle psychic demons and into the most material carnal demons. The subtler spirits fight the soul by arousing the psychic passions and the material fight the flesh by arousing the body with carnal desires. Both categories are equivalent, yet they operate "against each other", due to the difference between the soul and the body, which is reflected in both categories of demonic spirits, as long as they affect the soul and the body. When grace does not dwell in man, they nest in the depths of his heart, like real snakes, preventing the soul from desiring good. But when Grace, which was obtained through Baptism, is in man, then they run around the parts of the heart, that is, not in the heart or mind but mainly in the flesh, like dark clouds, taking various formations, in order to distract the mind from its contact with Divine Grace.1

Friday, February 26, 2021

Chapel of Saint Theokletos the Sorcerer in Messolonghi

 
Messolonghi is the capital of Aitolia-Acarnania in western Greece, and is the location of the Metropolis of Aitolia and Acarnania. In the courtyard of the Metropolis is the Chapel of Saint Theokletos the Sorcerer, the only known shrine to this Saint in the world. It was built by the late Metropolitan Theokletos of Aitolia and Acarnania (1922-2007) to honor his patron saint, and it celebrates every year on February 26th.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

The Devil's Lament (St. Ephraim the Syrian)

 
 
Tetrasyllable Discourse
 
In Which the Devil Laments his Defeat at the Hands of the Ascetics

By St. Ephraim the Syrian

When the wicked devil had been overpowered and defeated, he sat down in lamentation, saying in the midst of his weeping:

“Woe is me, the wretch! What is this that I have suffered? How is it that I have come away in defeat?

I have brought this shame upon myself by waging war with them so often. I should have known right away, when I was vanquished on my first and second assaults, that Christ was with them. For I used to love waging war on the saints, and my hatred for them grew, until I was finally disgraced. For I went away defeated, in great shame. My head was wounded by their heavy blows. I set snares for them, to trap them, but they snatched them up and crushed my head. The sharp arrows that I hurled at them they caught, and they used them to slay me. I assailed them with a variety of passions, but they put me to flight by the power of the Cross.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Saint Dionysios of Olympus and the Monk Who Summoned a Demon

 
There was a monk at Beroea who was only slightly educated. One day a book on divination came into his hands, and out of curiosity he read a little bit of it, thereby invoking the demons. As he slept that night, he saw in a dream a giant creature, blacker than any Ethiopian, who said to him:

"Because you have called upon me, I have come. If you will make obeisance to me, I will do what you ask!"

Now the monk recognized that this was the devil, and said to him:

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Saint Kuksha of Odessa and the Power of Holy Water


 
Saint Kuksha of Odessa (+ 1964) advised to bless all new things and products with Holy Water, and he sprinkled Holy Water in his monastic cell every evening. He learned what power Holy Water had from his spiritual father.

When Saint Kuksha was a ryassaphore monk on the Holy Mountain, he bore the name Constantine and had as an elder the Elder Melchizedek. One day as they were standing in prayer, the elder and his spiritual son heard what sounded like a wedding party coming toward the cell — horses trampling, accordions playing, and there was singing and laughter and whistling.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Demonizing Others Often Begins With Our Own Unquestioned Thoughts of Suspicion (St. Paisios the Athonite)

 
Saint Paisios once said:
 
We must question our thoughts of suspicion. I will tell you of an incident so you can see what these thoughts do. One day a monk came to the hut and said to me:

"Elder Haralambos is a magician; he did magic."

"What are you saying, you lost fool? You should be ashamed of yourself," I told him.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The Exorcism That Led to the Building of a Chapel in Honor of Saint Seraphim of Sarov

 

On 2 January 2021, Elder Gabriel, abbot of the Monastery of Venerable David in Evia, together with the fathers of the Monastery, celebrated the feast of Saint Seraphim of Sarov at the Chapel of Saint Seraphim of Sarov built on a mountain near the Monastery by the former abbot, the Holy Elder Kyrillos together with the fathers of his time. During the sermon after the Divine Liturgy, Elder Gabriel explained the history of this chapel as follows:

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